Favourable start to Dutch Grand Prix for Can Öncü


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider completed the first two free practice sessions at the TT Circuit Assen in a positive fashion.


The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team’s work at the eighth round of 2019 got underway on Friday, at one of the most iconic venues on the calendar: Assen, ‘the Cathedral’ of motorcycling. Can Öncü cashed in on the work he put in at the recent Barcelona test and wrapped up the first day’s action in the Netherlands positively, having lapped in the Top 5 in FP1 and FP2, before ending up 17th overall on the combined timesheets, less than one second off the best time.

The young Turk demonstrated his liking for the Assen layout, immediately reaching the highest spots of the classification at the start of FP1. In spite of the cold temperatures – 16°C ambient and 22°C track temperature – Can was consistent and competitive throughout his 16 laps, having made two pit stops. Finally, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rookie finished the session 16th – with 1:43.677.

In FP2, Öncü confirmed his good feeling by reducing his morning time by two tenths on his first outing onto the track. The 15-years-old rider worked hard and pushed for the top positions, placing himself fifth, with five minutes to go. After completing 19 laps, the Turkish youngster finished the session 17th – 1:42.542 -, nine tenths faster than in FP1.

The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team have one last free practice session early tomorrow. The grid for the Dutch GP will be decided in Q1 and Q2, at 12:35 pm and 1:00 pm, respectively.


Results Combined Practice (FP1 – FP2)
1. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 1:41.782
2. Tony Arbolino (Honda) 1:41.880 +0.098
3. Niccolo Antonelli (Honda) 1:41.893 +0.111
4. Romano Fenati (Honda) 1:41.896 +0.114
5. Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda) 1:41.979 +0.197
17. Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:42.542 +0.760



“Today we took a big step forward. I’m very happy because we did a great job, both when lapping close to other riders and me individually. Therefore we are satisfied with how the day has gone in general and we are positive ahead of qualifying. I think this Sunday we will see a group race so the position on the grid will not be extremely crucial, but anyway we will do our best in order to produce a good result tomorrow. There is still work to be done, which is why it is important to continue on this path of constant progression.”